The Haunters Spotlight is a series focused on presenting an inside look into the world of those who dedicate their lives to the haunt industry. Each piece will focus on owners, actors, and staff who have deep passion and love for haunting. With this edition, we take a look at the career of Will Puntarich, the current creative director behind Total Fear NYZ and CEO of Fringe media.Will Puntarich is a maverick in the haunted attraction industry, and he has embraced the modern ideal that haunted attractions can be horror art. Will currently is the creative mind behind Total Fear NYZ, and has previously held shows at NYZ Apocalypse, Chamber of Horrors NY, Dead of Night and Dread the Night. Will is currently working on a special event this November 3 and 4th, Dread the Night: Shadow Rituals in conjunction with Rodney Montgomery of The Shadows Haunted House.
Immersive horror shows are not for the general haunt fans and he has focused his efforts on bringing to life events that cater to those who are looking for a deeper horror experience. For over seventeen years Will has worked in a variety of positions, and has used his interests, politics, retro horror and pop culture to fuel his modern sense of creativity. Will attributes the work of HP Lovecraft as one of his principle influences and has worked in all facets of the haunt industry including acting, building and design work. Operating smaller “boutique” haunts has allowed him to stretch the boundaries of what one may think a haunted attraction is. Immersive horror theater is an emerging sector of the haunt industry that cannot be ignored.
Working in the haunt industry is sometimes challenging and Will has been involved in controversy for his unique promotion and development of immersive horror shows. Will is the CEO of Fringe Media Inc., and partnered with Russ McKamey to take part in horror shows called “Dystopia.” The work Fringe Horror undertook with McKamey brought out those who are opposed to McKamey Manor and orientated their hate towards Fringe Media. Further controversy occurred when Will ran a “Hanukkah” themed immersive horror shows last year, and in the past, he was sued for “stealing a man’s soul.” Despite these challenging situations, it is the desire to think outside the box and an expansion of one’s horizons that keeps his work on the cutting edge of horror entertainment.
Check out Total Fear NYZ this season and if you have the opportunity attend the Dread the Night: Shadow Rituals event!